Black ice alert as temperatures set to plunge to sub-zero
The big chill has arrived with a vengeance, with temperatures forecast to tumble as low as -3C tonight - marking the end of a weekend of wintry showers, frost and rain.
Little change is expected until next Sunday at the earliest, with icy conditions set to continue for the rest of the week.
Daytime lows of 5C are expected in the west and north-west, with temperatures unlikely to go higher than 7C.
Motorists have been warned to be extra vigilant, particularly at night, with black ice causing treacherous conditions in many parts of the country.
Cold today with frost & fog this morning. Mainly dry, just isolated showers on W & N coasts. Highs 4 to 7C, but near 0C in any lingering fog— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) November 20, 2016
Motorists during coldsnap please adapt your driving to the road/weather conditions.Thankfully no serious injuries in this collision on N81 pic.twitter.com/5SkdCGggeu— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) November 19, 2016
Today will start off cold and bright and frost and fog will lift gradually during the morning.
Any remaining patchy rain or sleet near eastern coasts will clear quickly and sunny spells will develop.
It will be dry in most parts of the country, apart from a few showers on the coastal fringes, with temperatures of between 4 and 7C.
Tomorrow will be a dry, cold day and, while frost and fog will clear slowly during the morning, fog could linger in some parts into the afternoon.
It will give way to bursts of sunshine, but cloud and rain will sweep into south-eastern and eastern areas later in the day.
There is also the possibility of some sleet or wet snow falling on high ground overnight.
A surge in car breakdowns has been predicted - with possible delays on major routes over the next few days.
An AA spokesman advised drivers to take care on the roads as the weather worsens today.
"The most dangerous time is in the evenings when people are going home," he said.
"They may not anticipate a sudden change in road conditions.
"Normally the rule of thumb is that when you get a sudden turnaround in weather conditions, it takes about an hour for drivers to fully realise roads have got more dangerous."
The AA's advice for motorists is to "get into the winter mindset as quickly as possible".
Its spokesman stressed the importance of careful driving, with weather conditions becoming more erratic as the Irish winter sets in.
"The vast majority of drivers will already have experienced this kind of weather, and they need to remember what they learned the last time and they need to remember it quickly," he added.
Meanwhile, Tuesday and Wednesday will continue chilly while remaining dry in most parts with sunny spells.
Temperatures will range from 6 to 8C, with frost and fog at night and in the mornings.